Experts say banks and retailers are doing all they can to control concerns in the aftermath of the Epsilon e-mail breach, and a well-crafted e-mail fooled an RSA employee into opening a phish that led to a sophisticated attack on the company's information systems.
When it comes to e-marketing and the reliance on third parties such as Epsilon, Nicolas Christin of Carnegie Mellon University says banks and merchants should "come clean" about the information they share with outside entities.
Communicating with customers about the incident and warning them not to click links in phishing e-mails are all these impacted institutions and companies really can do, says Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security.
Privacy Attorney Lisa Sotto says the Epsilon e-mail breach is a warning about the state of data security employed by some third-party service providers. Strong contracts related to security practices must be the norm, not the exception.
"It is the biggest breach we have ever seen; and to say no financial information has been stolen is, well, understating the massive breach and concern," says Neil Schwartzman, founder and chief security specialist at CASL Consulting.
NACHA has posted an alert about a targeted phishing scam that appears to be hitting recipients up for ACH transaction details. Reports of phishing e-mails appearing to be from the Internal Revenue Service have also cropped up this week.
Phishy HTML pages get past spam filters, and users of RSA's SecurID two-factor authentication products come up with new ways to monitor threats and take preventive steps in the aftermath of a hacker attack against RSA.
Phishy HTML pages e-mailed as attachments get past spam filters because the messages themselves contain no overt URLs to scan and catch, says online security expert Neil Schwartzman. "It's almost unsophisticated, but it's clever."
A preliminary draft of new online authentication guidance from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council puts greater responsibility on the shoulders of financial institutions to enhance security.